Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amalek Against Jerusalem

Rabbi David Chai Hacohen

By Rabbi David Chai Hacohen (Written by the rabbi)

Dedicated to the memory of Asher Ben Haim

1. Remember - Do Not Forget
2. The Throne of God
3. War on Two Levels
4. If I Forget Thee Jerusalem5. Fourteen, Fifteen

Remember - Do Not Forget
In reading the "Zakhor" Torah portion (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), we fulfill two Torah commandments: the commandment to "remember (‘zakhor’) what Amalek did to you" (Ibid. 17), which is a positive precept to verbalize the Torah verses which warn us of our obligation to remember Amalek’s act. The nation of Amalek, which stood out as the most powerful nation of its day, both militarily and culturally, attempted to prevent Israel from returning to their homeland after the long Egyptian exile and to forestall them from carrying out their Divine task of building a Holy Temple as a Throne of Honor for the God of the Universe, and, by so doing, to illuminate the darkness of the physical world with an eternal light.

The second commandment, "Do not forget [what Amalek did to you]" (Ibid. 19), is a negative precept. Its purpose is to make us aware of the fact that verbalization is not enough. The idea must be ingrained in one’s heart as well. Only after we have fully absorbed, inwardly and outwardly, the recognition of our responsibility to build the Temple, the construction of which is dependent upon the annihilation of the nation of Amalek and the perfection of the world, will we possess the courage to rise up and wage war upon our archenemy. In doing this, the words of the Torah, "and nobody will stand before them (Joshua 21:42)" will be fulfilled through our nation.

The Throne of God
In "Psikta DeRav Kahana," on the verses of the Zakhor portion, the sages raise a question regarding the commandment to annihilate the Amalekites. Here it is written, "erase all memory of Amalek" (Deuteronomy 25:18), i.e., the obligation is ours - we must erase; elsewhere, though, it is written "for I will surely erase all memory of Amalek" (Exodus 17:14), i.e., the Almighty Himself will carry out this act. How is it possible for both of these two verses to be fulfilled? Is it we that are to erase the memory of Amalek, or God?

The Midrash answers: "Up until the point where Amalek reached out his hand in an attempt to take hold of the Throne of God, the Torah tells us to ‘erase all memory of Amalek’; but, after actually having reached out and taken hold of God’s throne, ‘I will surely erase all memory of Amalek.’" The author of Psikta immediately asks, "But is it not inconceivable that flesh and blood take hold of God’s throne?" and answers, "[Taking hold of God’s throne is possible] by destroying Jerusalem, which is called, ‘the Throne of God,’ as it is written, "At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘the Throne of God.’" Therefore there was a need for the verse, "I will surely erase all memory of Amalek." And the Psikta explains, "Before Amalek laid his hands on Jerusalem, ‘erase all memory of Amalek,’ but once he laid his hands on Jerusalem, ‘God is at war with Amalek.’"

War On Two Levels
From the words of the Psikta, then, it becomes clear that Israel is engaged in a war with Amalek on two levels: the first concerns our national existence and calls for defending it from Amalek’s extreme cruelty, for the Amalekites take pity upon none. This is what is meant by the verse "Remember what Amalek did to you," the cruelty and evil heartedness which he showed you, "when they encountered you on the way," while you were unsettled, for it is common courtesy to commiserate with one who is on the road and has not yet reached his destination. What’s more, Amalek displayed cruelty toward the powerless and isolated, as it is written, "they cut off those lagging to your rear." This is what lies behind the commandment to resist being softhearted toward them, and instead take full revenge for what they did to our brothers and sisters, killing them for no reason: "Erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens."

The Torah, though, comes and teaches us that Amalek does not merely oppose our physical national presence. This evil nation opposes our purpose and spiritual mission in the world. This, then, is the "second" level of the war with Amalek. Amalek desires to topple God’s ability to establish a stronghold in this world, with an inner recognition that the only true resting place for Divinity in this world is amidst His chosen nation. Amidst them exists the largest concentration of "holy lights," and these lights, in this world, are produced in Jerusalem, the Holy City. Therefore he makes a concentrated effort to smash this stronghold, God’s worldly throne in Jerusalem.

We can thus see how the words of the verse, "First among nations is Amalek" (Numbers 24:20), are coming true in our own generation. An international attack is being waged upon Israel - especially upon its spirit, the Divine spirit whose practical expression is the rebuilt city of Jerusalem.

In light of this, we gain strength from the knowledge that the war against God and His throne draws the Almighty Himself into the picture. Therefore, as in the words of the sages in their interpretation of the verse, "I will surely erase the memory of Amalek," we can expect Divine intervention in the form of a double blow: "Macheh, Emcheh" ("I will surely erase," in Hebrew, takes the form of a repetition of a single verb root - "Macheh Emcheh"). The Book of Zechariah contains explicit verses to this effect - that when the nations come to wage war on Jerusalem, God will "descend" from heaven to do battle with them.

Having clarified the above, it is now possible to better understand a number of episodes in the Book of Ester, in Jewish law, and in history.

If I Forget Thee Jerusalem
The Book of Ester relates and describes the nature of the struggle for survival into which the Jewish people were thrown in one of the most difficult periods in its existence. The Land of Israel was in a state of destruction, the Temple was burnt down, the Jews were scattered throughout the exile without any sort of recognizable concentrated leadership. In the lands of their exile the Jews lived in a detached, spiritual manner, to the point where they forgot themselves and their proud lineage and were prepared to sit down and partake in the celebration of gentiles in the capital city of Shushan.

One of the interesting things about the Book of Ester is the fact that no mention of the Land of Israel appears in the text. It does not appear even once. Yet, under the piles of ashes, a burning ember is discernable. The memory of Jerusalem, the Holy City, is not lost even to the Jews of Shushan who eat at the banquet of Achashverosh. What’s more, thanks to Jerusalem, they begin to recall their glorious past in the form of Yehoyakhin, the king of Judah, the Kingdom of Israel which was connected to Jerusalem.

This inner light makes noticeable those distinguishing marks which set the Jews apart from the nations amongst which they are mixed. "All that Mordecai instructed was written to the Jews, as well as to the governors, satraps, and nobles of the lands from India to Ethiopia, 127 lands, to each land in its writing, and to each nationality in its language - and to the Jews in their writing and language" (Ester 8:9). Handwritten script, one of man’s unique capacities, together with speech, language, which contains a special ring, uniquely attuned to the soul of the Jew, are clearly recognizable by their indelible inner signature. These roots bring forth "spices and the myrtles" - Mordechai and Ester, who, via the strong scent which they radiate, succeed in easing the putrid stench which threatened to suffocate God’s nation, Israel.

Fourteen, Fifteen
One of the more difficult questions regarding the Book of Ester is why the miracle occurred for two days and not for one as was the case with all other miracles merited by the Jewish people. What’s more, even though the miracle endured, why should the sages have seen fit to establish Purim as a two-day holiday? In addition, we find that the sages fixed the fifteenth of Adar as the date of celebration for all walled cities from the period of Joshua bin Nun, in commemoration of the miracle of Shushan the capital. Yet, when we consider what has transpired since the time of this ordinance, we find that there is no city in the Land of Israel, or, for that matter, in the entire world, which is fully obligated to read on the fifteenth of Adar - except for Jerusalem. For, all other cities which read on the fifteenth, read without a blessing, after having read on the fourteenth with a blessing. They read on the fifteenth only in order to be on the safe side. If so, Jerusalem is the one and only city in the world wherein the Scroll of Ester is read both day and night with a blessing, and in which the commandments of feasting, sending food items, and giving gifts to the poor must be carried out on the fifteenth, such that if one were to perform these acts on the fourteenth one would not have fulfilled his obligation. So, why did God arrange for the miracle of Shushan to reveal itself in Jerusalem? What is the connection between the holiest city in the world and Achashverosh’s capital?

Based upon our previous conclusions, the above difficulties are rendered explainable. The Jews in Shushan, subject to the influence of the Persian kingdom, were not able to hold their ground and were simply swept away by the current of muddy waters, to the point where these hapless Jews were no longer able to recognize their own national uniqueness and found themselves partaking in a non-kosher feast in the court garden of the king’s palace. And, despite this fact, even these Jews did not forget Jerusalem, for the Book of Ester makes note of the fact that Mordechai was from Jerusalem. Deep inside, they remembered the greatness of Jerusalem, and her royal memory which was alluded to in the name of her final king - "Yehoyachin" which may be translated: "God secured." God secured him and his kingdom in Jerusalem.

The Jews of other lands had not sunk so deeply into the pit of exile. For them, their merit was such that they were spared on the first day, the fourteenth of Adar. But for the Jews of distant and remote Shushan, the merit of the land of Israel and the Torah were not enough to help them, seeing as they were so far removed. They therefore could rely only upon the power of Jerusalem, with her ability to affect even the most distant Jews. For this reason, they received their miracle on a separate day. This teaches us that there are two levels in the redemption of Israel. The redemption of those who are close to the way of the Torah is quicker, and its inception takes place sooner, while redemption of the far-removed, though it too is bound to take place eventually, comes only later. This later redemption will result through the merit of a hard-core element, which will refuse to totter or crumble. This is the "Jerusalem core."

Hence, because the salvation of Shushan Jewry came about through the merit of Jerusalem, there was a need to emphasize and single out its unique status. This had to be done in a clear-cut manner leaving no room for doubt. Therefore a separate day was set aside for Jerusalem, for the sake of celebrating Purim.

We might perhaps, in light of the above, provide a unique explanation for the Biblical verse wherein God says to Moses: "Write this as a reminder in the Book...for the Hand is on God’s Throne. God shall be at war with Amalek for all generations" (Exodus 17:16). The word "hand" ("Yad" in Hebrew) hints at the first miracle, which occurred on the fourteenth of Adar (the word "Yad" has a numerical value of fourteen), while the word "God" ("Yah" in Hebrew) indicates the miracle which occured on the fifteenth of Adar ("Yah" equals fifteen).

We may, then, interpret the verse as follows: If one is puzzled at the fact that there are both "Yad" and "Yah" miracles, know that the first miracle takes place in order to spare Israel of their responsibility to erase the memory of Amalek, while the second one ("Yah") alludes to the Throne of God - Jerusalem. Hence, it is clear that it is the Almighty God Himself who exclaims "I will surely erase the memory of Amalek" should he dare to lay a hand on Jerusalem.

May we be privileged to witness with our own eyes the heartwarming return of God’s presence to Zion, with compassion.

Some of the verses in the above article were taken from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s "The Living Torah," and from the "Me’am Loez Torah Anthology," (both published by Moznaim)

Time for a New Zionist Vision

By The Alliance for New Zionist Vision

One simple truth has redrawn the true political battle lines in Israel.  Zionism – as we have known it- has served its purpose, and it’s time is over.

The Zionism that emerged in the late 19th century was arguably the most successful national liberation movement in modern history. It took a people scattered across the globe and returned it to its ancestral homeland, revived its ancient language, built roads, towns, and infrastructure, and created a Jewish army and a vibrant economy.  It achieved its goal of political independence for a dispersed and oppressed people. But while Zionism’s ideological tools were essential to physically returning the Jewish people to our homeland, those same tools are inadequate for taking us to the next stage of our development. We are now in now in a “post-Zionist” age.
The death of traditional Zionism has cleared the stage for a bigger vision of Zionism’s future, and many different voices are now emerging that are giving shape to this bigger vision. The Alliance for a New Zionist Vision is a coalition of several  grassroots organizations in Israel and the Diaspora that joined together to inject this new vision into the World Zionist Organization.  Theodore Herzl created the WZO 118 years ago to bring the original Zionism to reality and it’s still the official body of the Zionist movement worldwide.  We are running a slate for representation at the upcoming World Zionist Congress (see details of the WZC here).
Like Moshe Feiglin, these new voices accept that the attainment of Jewish independence through Zionism was nothing more than an important phase in a much larger revolution. Rather than merely creating a safe haven or defensively resisting the partition of our homeland, we aim to focus our efforts on creating within our borders an authentically Jewish civilization that will apply our deepest concepts of justice and morality to the complexities of modern nationhood and will be the “Light unto the Nations” envisioned by our great leaders and thinkers throughout the generations.
Our slate’s goals include fighting for recognition of the Jewish people as indigenous to the Land of Israel, exposing the “colonized” elements of our identity to promote a deeper connection to our authentic culture, exploring outside-the-box solutions to the Middle East conflict.  We are fighting for a change in Israel advocacy on college campuses and in the media in order to emphasize Jewish rights, the justice of our cause, and the wondrous story of our people’s return to its native culture and homeland.
The WZC allocates a multimillion dollar budget, and it helps direct 100’s of millions of dollars of Jewish Agency funds.  The Alliance for New Zionist Vision is committed to ensuring that these funds reach those truly in the trenches of the current conflicts of the Jewish people worldwide, to reducing tuition and offering subsidies at Jewish schools, and to promoting creative hands-on educational programs that develop a deep emotional connection to our people and its historic aspirations.
Over the years, the WZO has become old and stodgy, lacking the vision and sense of purpose that are needed to  confront anti-Israeli attacks on campuses, BDS and the constant de-legitimization facing our people. It has become largely irrelevant to the current struggles of the Jewish people. It is time to let those with the passion, idealism, and vision impact the WZO agenda.

Unique in the history of the WZC, our slate is running EXCLUSIVELY young candidates. We, the Alliance for New Zionist Vision, are the collective voice of student leaders and young adults passionately engaged in our people’s national mission and struggles. We are the inspired young leadership that will forge a new vision for Zionism’s role in our people’s incredible story. We are the drive that will revitalize the World Zionist Congress and shape the decisions of the official Zionist movement.
Our generation isn’t satisfied with the outdated ideological paradigms of previous decades. What we represent is #NotYourMothersZionism.  Please join us in our efforts to impact the World Zionist Congress and vote for the ANZV today.
To learn more about us, read our platform, or have a representative come to your area, please visit our website.

ABCD – Applaud Bibi’s Congress Decision

By Shmuel Sackett

I have opposed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on many occasions but when he does something right, brave and very courageous, I am the first to commend him. His controversial decision to speak in front of the US Congress next week is an example of such an act. In my opinion, it is the greatest thing the Prime Minister has done since taking office, close to seven years ago!

Many people, both in Israel and throughout the United States are worried about souring relations with President Obama and the US administration. These critics claim that this speech is arousing unnecessary tensions between our two countries and causing a rift between us. To them, I have a very simple answer; this act by Prime Minister Netanyahu will accomplish the complete opposite! It will bring respect to Israel – and not just from the USA – but from around the world. It will bring honor to the Jewish Nation and will invigorate our people with positive energy.
Allow me to explain why I feel this way. In September 1993 the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzchak Rabin, signed the infamous “Oslo Accords” on the White House lawn with Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton.  Since that time, we did exactly what was requested of us from the world community; We brought the PLO back to Israel and made Arafat the President of the “Palestinian People”. We threw 8,000 of our fellow Jews out of their homes in the beautiful Southwest coastal region of Israel and destroyed their homes, businesses, shuls, Yeshivot and even dug up their graves. We divided the Biblical heartland of Israel into sections and gave away holy cities such as Shechem and Betlechem and we forbid Jews from building in 80% of that land. We divided many parts of the holiest city of Jerusalem and forbade Jews from praying on the site where Abraham bound Isaac and where the Temples stood for over 800 years. Even though things are very tough financially in Israel, and many Jews go to sleep hungry at night, we spent over one TRILLION shekels since the beginning of that failed process just to try to make it work. In short; we did everything that was asked of us by the world community… and it got us nowhere.
In Israel, 2,000 Jews are dead since the handshake of September 1993 and 100,000 are wounded and nobody – but nobody – believes in this ridiculous peace dream any more.
Around the world; Anti-Semitism is at a post WWII high. In many modern countries, such as France, Rabbis are actually instructing their male followers not to wear “kippot” in the street or look “too Jewish” for fear of being attacked. American universities have become dangerous places for Jews to study and every Chabad House around the world looks like Fort Knox.
This does not make any sense! Israel has done everything the world asked for yet the world responds with hate??? Don’t they know about our heroic humanitarian efforts after the tragedies in Haiti and the Philippines? Don’t they know how civilized our army is, even to the point of risking the lives of IDF soldiers in order to minimize civilian casualties when fighting Hamas and Hezbollah? Doesn’t the world see how hard we work to protect Moslems who wish to pray on the Temple Mount, even to the point of arresting our own Rabbis and Knesset Members?
Please excuse me but I have to stop for a minute. I am typing these words and actually laughing as they appear on my screen. This very serious article is looking like a Purim skit and if it weren’t 100% true – and tragic – it would indeed win awards for its humor. OF COURSE the world sees everything I just listed above. The problem is that they see it and they interpret it – not as strength, faith, caring, compassion and sacrificing for peace – they see it as WEAKNESS, APOLOGIES, LACK OF JUSTICE and even ATHEISM! They view Israel, and Jews worldwide, as feeble, guilt-ridden, unfortunate souls who will do anything for acceptance and love. Finally, when they see Israeli leaders on television, they laugh – yes, they laugh. They laugh at their cowardice and their naivety. They laugh at their foolishness and political correctness and they laugh because nobody believes a word they say!
Let’s get back to the speech before Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu could have done what so many had done before. In the name of peace, he could have “folded his cards” and politely apologized to President Obama. He could have come out with a strong statement and read it, together with Secretary of State John Kerry. Finally, he could have made his speech – the exact one he will make in front of Congress – at the AIPAC Policy Conference, which will be held the SAME WEEK as the Congressional speech! Had he made the speech to AIPAC, he would have created no controversy, no tension and been under no pressure from the US administration!
This is exactly why I am supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu in this endeavor. Yes, he could have done any or ALL of the suggestions above… but he chose NOT TO!! The reason is clear – because had he gone “the easy way”, the way most Israeli leaders have chosen to act up until now, he would have caused damage to the Jewish nation by – ONCE AGAIN – showing the world weak, apologetic and cowardly leadership. By standing tall… and strong… and brave… and looking President Obama in the eye and NOT giving in, he awakens the sleeping giant of Jewish pride and independence. He teaches the world a very important lesson: that Israel will not fulfill every wish of theirs – because it has done nothing for us but strengthen the anti-Semite. He follows the heroic example of David Ben Gurion who declared the state of Israel AGAINST the wishes of US President Truman. He follows the heroic example of Levi Eshkol who attacked the Old City of Jerusalem AGAINST the wishes of US President Johnson and he follows the heroic example of Menachem Begin who bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor AGAINST the wishes of US President Reagan. These acts – in 1948, 1967and 1981 – brought respect to Israel. It REDUCED anti-Semitism around the world because when Israel stands strong and does what is best for her, the world responds with honor and dignity.
I humbly ask, that each and every one of you do the same. Support the Prime Minister of Israel in this brave and courageous act and send a message to him – and to the entire world – that Israeli leaders have started to return to the days of old, when strength, pride and faith in G-d were the most important factors. This is as simple as ABCD; Applaud Bibi’s CongressDecision! Do it now!!

Moshe Feiglin Reveals Name of New Party

Feiglin said that he plans to turn to the broad public – not just religious or right. According to Feiglin, the party will create an alternative based on liberty, identity and meaning.
“Israel needs faith based leadership,” said Feiglin. “None of the parties running right now have solutions for the challenges facing Israel. I do not expect the new government to last more than two years.”
The journalists on the panel noted that Feiglin is not like Lapid, who won 19 seats the first time that he ran. Unlike Lapid, Feiglin is religious, with rightist views, does not host a popular television show and more. “All of that is right,” Feiglin countered. “But the difference between Lapid and me is that I am connected to reality. That reality necessitates the solution that I am talking about. At some point in the future, it will all come together. There will be no choice.”

If You Remain Silent…:HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Tetzaveh 5775

Parashat Tetzaveh 5775 
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Moshe’s Name is Missing

Today the 7th of Adar, is the date of Moshe Rabbeinu’s birth and the day of his passing away 120 years later. Moshe died on the mountain of Nevo in the tribe of Reuven, and his body was moved by HaShem to an unknown location in the tribe of Gad.
Beginning with parashat Shmot, Moshe’s name is mentioned in every parasha until the end of the Book of Devarim, except for one – our parasha Tetzaveh. HaShem dictated to Moshe every world to appear in the Torah and He commanded Moshe to omit his own name from this parasha in order to serve as an everlasting memorial to Moshe’s self-sacrifice when he declared to HaShem, that if the Jewish nation would be destroyed because of the Golden Calf episode, then his own name should be omitted from the Torah. Interestingly, the 7th of Adar falls out every year in parashat Tetzaveh.
It is only fitting that the Medina has declared this very day to memorialize our holy sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives in defense of the Holy Land, and whose place of burial is unknown.
The norm is to erect imposing monuments on the place of burial of outstanding individuals. However, we cannot do so regarding Moshe, neither can we do so regarding those holy soldiers whose place of burial is unknown.
It would not be surprising, if in the world of absolute truth – Olam Haba, on this very day Moshe is teaching a private shiur to those holy soldiers.
It should be a point of comfort for the bereaved families that the Gemara states that a Jew who is killed on Kiddush HaShem (killed for being a Jew) is awarded a special place in Olam Haba.

If You Remain Silent…

Tractate Yoma 29a:
אמר רב אסי: למה נמשלה אסתר לשחר? לומר לך מה שחר סוף כל הלילה אף אסתר סוף כל הנסים והא איכא חנוכה? ניתנה לכתוב קא אמרינן
Rav Asi said: Why was (Queen) Esther compared to the blackest time of night just before dawn?
To inform you that as the darkest moments signal the end of night, so too was Esther the end of miracles. (And the rabbis asked Rav Asi): But wasn’t Chanuka which came after the story of Esther not a miracle? (And he replied) My intention is that Esther was the last of the miracles to be recorded in the 24 books of the Bible.
The Gemara in Megila 14a states that a recorded miracle had significance for its time and significance for the future; while an unrecorded miracle has no significance for the future.
Indeed, the events of the recorded Megila are unfolding right now before our very eyes, the names are different but the situations are similar.
As in the days of Mordechai and Esther, the nation which plotted and planned to obliterate the Jewish people in one day was Persia, as it is today, under the name Iran which is advancing daily to achieve their explicitly stated goal of attaining nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them to Europe and the USA.
Today, the plan to destroy the Jewish state is unopposed by the vast majority of UN members, as in the time of Achashverosh and Haman whose plan to destroy the Jewish people was unopposed by the 127 nations under Persian control.
At the time of Esther, there were those who betrayed the Jewish dream of returning to Zion, by partaking in the grand banquet hosted by the King, where the food was served out of vessels and dishes taken from the holy Temple. So too today, there are influential segments of the Jewish nation who betray the ideals, hopes and aspirations of the healthy segments of Judaism by siding with the enemy. Like the J. Street traitors of the USA, the despicable Neturai Karta of Williamsburg who periodically visit Teheran, not to mention many leftists in Israel.
Today as then, the diabolical plans of destruction are made by heads of state at presidential dinners or sitting rooms, and sealed with toasts sounded over the background of champagne goblets clinking in glee.
Today as then, there are Jews in the galut, leaders and laymen, who choose to remain on the sidelines of Jewish destiny in the belief that non-involvement will keep them under the radar screen of their gentile masters. However, the marshaling words of Mordechai to Esther (4,14) ring ever more true today:
כי אם החרש תחרישי בעת הזאת רוח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר ואת ובית אביך תאבדו
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.
At that time there was considerable doubt in Esther’s mind whether she should enter uninvited into the King’s inner chamber to plea for her people. And today, controversy and division surround our Prime Minister’s uninvited visit by the White House, to appear before a joint meeting of Congress to explain the suicidal road the free world is being led on by the US’s Moslem orientated President.
Mordechai and Esther belonged to the tribe of Binyamin, and Binyamin Natanyahu will speak for the Jewish State of the 3rd of March, which will be in Eretz Yisrael the beginning of the 13th of Adar – the Fast of Esther.
What saved us then will save us now! The call to arms sounded by Mordechai and the other 119 members of the Anshei Knesset Hagedola (The Great Assembly) to train in preparation for the war against the 127 lands under Persian control. The fierce military battles were waged on the 13th and 14 of Adar by the Jews who were faithful to HaShem. He blessed them with victory, and brought to us the holiday of Purim.
So too will HaShem bless the holy soldiers of Tzahal, whenever and wherever they will have to fulfill their duty of protecting the Jewish people.
And let us not forget the crescendo of the Purim episode – the return of many Jews with Zerubavel, and then afterward with Ezra and Nechemia to rebuild Yerushalayim and the Second Bet HaMikdash.
We too will merit to see in our generation three astonishing happenings:
  1. The return en masse of millions upon millions of Jews to the holy cities of Eretz Yisrael, including Shechem, Bet Lechem, and Chevron.
  2. HaShem’s wrath poured upon all the enemies of our people.
  3. The rebuilding of the Bet HaMikdash on the Temple Mount, including the restoration of the Sanhedrin and the Davidic Monarchy.
The future is an open book for all to see and study. For example Yirmiyahu chapter 30:
ג) כי הנה ימים באים נאם ה’ ושבתי את שבות עמי ישראל ויהודה אמר ה’ והשבתים אל הארץ אשר נתתי לאבותם וירשוה: פ

3 Days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity, says HaShem, and restore them to the land, I gave their ancestors to possess…
(HaShem is aware that our return to the Promised Land will not be without fierce opposition from religions which will feel threatened. So He dictates to the prophet to add)….

י) ואתה אל תירא עבדי יעקב נאם ה’ ואל תחת ישראל כי הנני מושיעך מרחוק ואת זרעך מארץ שבים ושב יעקב ושקט ושאנן ואין מחריד:
יא) כי אתך אני נאם ה’ להושיעך כי אעשה כלה בכל הגוים אשר הפצותיך שם…

(10) Do not fear, Jacob my servant, says HaShem. And do not be dismayed, Israel, For I will surely save you out of a distant place, and your descendants from the land of their captivity.
Jacob (the Nation of Israel) will again have peace and security and no one will make him afraid.
(11) I am with you, declares HaShem, to save you. When I will completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you…

טז) לכן כל אכליך יאכלו וכל צריך כלם בשבי ילכו והיו שאסיך למשסה וכל בזזיך אתן לבז:

(16) All who devoured you will be devoured; all your enemies will go into exile. Those who plunder you will be plundered; all who make spoil of you I will despoil.

יח) כה אמר ה’ הנני שב שבות אהלי יעקוב ומשכנתיו ארחם ונבנתה עיר על תלה וארמון על משפטו ישב:

 (18) “This is what the Lord says: I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings;  the city (Yerushalayim) will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace (Bet HaMikdash) will stand in its proper place (Mount Moriah).
כה) בעת ההיא נאם ה’ אהיה לאלהים לכל משפחות ישראל והמה יהיו לי לעם:

In days to come I shall be the acknowledged God to all the families of Yisrael and they shall be My Nation.
Indeed! The return en masse of millions upon millions of Jew to the Promised Land.
And HaShem’s wrath will be poured out on all the enemies of our people, of the past, present and future.
We will witness the rebuilding of the Bet HaMikdash on the Temple Mount and the restoration of our past Torah society.
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5775/2015 Nachman Kahana

Israel’s King is also the Servant of G-d

A Torah Thought for Parashat Tetzaveh 

by Moshe Feiglin

And I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel and I will be their G-d.”

(From this week’s Torah portion, T’ztaveh, Exodus 29:45)
“And I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel.” The Holy Temple is the necessary tool for the coronation of the Creator as King of the World. A king is not a king without a nation, a land, a capital and a royal palace. The nations of the world coronate kings of flesh and blood, enslave themselves to humans and build them glorious palaces. But the King of Israel is not a mere human. Israel testifies to the Kingdom of G-d. The Holy Temple in Jerusalem is His royal palace.
This is the way to achieve liberty for the Nation of Israel and for the world. One person is not slave to another, but we are all servants of G-d. The first of those servants is the human king of Israel whose entire purpose is to fulfill the destiny of the Nation of Israel: to perfect the world in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Shabbat Shalom.

The Secret of the Tabernacle

By Rabbi Mordechai Greenberg 
Rosh HaYeshiva, Kerem B'Yavneh
"And let them make a Tabernacle for me, and I will dwell within them" [Shemot 25:8]. The Ramban discusses this verse. "The hidden meaning of the Tabernacle is that the glory which rested on Mount Sinai is the same as the glory which rests on the Tabernacle, as is written, 'And the glory of G-d rested on Mount Sinai' [24:16]. With respect to the Tabernacle, it is written, 'the glory of G-d filled the Tabernacle' [40:35]. And in the Tabernacle the nation of Yisrael always kept the glory that they saw at Mount Sinai. One who looks carefully at these passages will understand the secrets of the Tabernacle and the Temple."
Similarly, at Sinai, "Moshe approached the thick cloud where G-d was" [20:18]. In the Tabernacle, "The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting" [40:34]. Thus, the events at Mount Sinai are not limited to just giving the Torah but rather involve the revelation of the Shechina in the entire world.
"And they heard the sound of G-d walking in the Garden" [Bereishit 3:8]. "The essence of the Shechina was down below. When Adam sinned, the Shechina removed itself and went to the first 'Rakiya,' the lowest level of heaven (out of seven). When Kayin sinned, it moved further away, to the second Rakiya... At the time of Avraham Egypt returned it to the sixth level. At the same time, seven righteous men stood up. Avraham stood up and brought the Shechina back to the sixth level... Moshe stood up and brought it from the highest level all the way back to the bottom." Thus, the descent of the Shechina on Mount Sinai was not merely in order to give the Torah but was mainly to satisfy the desire of the Master of the World – "The Holy One, Blessed be He, developed a desire to have the Shechina dwell down below." "Is there any type of sale where the owner is sold too, together with the merchandise? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I sold my Torah to you, it is as if at the same time – as it were – I Myself was sold too, as is written, 'Let them take a contribution' [Shemot 25:2]. The verse can be read as 'take Me as a contribution,' as if the word written was 'oti.'
The Torah portion of Tetzaveh ends with the description of the Altar of the incense. This is the final step in the process of the revelation of the Shechina which started with the momentous events at Sinai and ended in the Tabernacle, with the offering of the incense. The sages have taught us that the final stage in the descent of the Shechina was burning the incense. The Marahal explains that "ketoret" – incense – is related to the Aramaic word "kitra" – to make a link. When we link what is below to what is above, when the incense rises upwards, the Shechina descends.
This gives a new depth to the well-known passage in the Talmud, "Where does Haman appear in the Torah? It is written, 'Did you partake from the tree which I forbid?' ('hamin ha'etz') [Bereishit 3:11]. Where does Mordechai appear in the Torah? It is written, 'mor dror' [Shemot 30:23] – a spice – which is translated as 'Merie Dachia' (similar to Mordechai)."
It is written in the Midrash: "When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the world, he developed a desire to have a dwelling place down below. He created Adam, and commanded him, 'From the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil do not eat' [Bereishit 2:17]. When he violated this prohibition, G-d said to Adam, 'I wanted to have a dwelling-place down below, and I gave you one command which you did not obey. So the Shechina removed itself and went up to the first rakiya... Moshe returned it to the earth, as is written, 'And G-d descended to Mount Sinai' [Shemot 19:20]."
The serpent caused the Shechina to remove itself, and we have seen in the writing of the ARI, on the verse, "from the root of a snake will emerge a tzefa, (a viper)" [Yeshayahu 14:29]. The word "tzefa" is the same numerical value as Amalek. That is the role of Amalek – to cause the Shechina to leave. The sages note that Haman's intention was to block the construction of the Temple, the place where the Shechina dwells down below. But Mordechai interfered with the plan and killed Haman. And that is why Haman, who fought against the presence of the Shechina down below, is hinted at by the phrase, "hamin ha'etz," a hint of the tree with which Adam sinned, leading to the removal of the Shechina. And Mordechai, who destroyed Haman, is hinted at in a name derived from the incense, which was the instrument that helped to bring the Shechina back.

Take a Bottle and Strike it

By Rabbi Yisrael Rosen  
Dean of the Zomet Institute
"And you shall make holy clothing for Aharon your brother, for glory and splendor" [Shemot 28:2]. "How do we know that if he is not wealthy his brothers the priests shall enhance his wealth? It is written, 'And the priest who is greater than his brothers' [Vayikra 21:10] – make him great from what is taken from his brothers" [Yoma 18a].
"Of booty that is taken – Half goes to the King and half to the nation" [Sanhedrin 20b].
Minor Items
The press has gone mad. Insignificant items having to do with the life of Sarah Netanyahu's family such as deposit bottle returns and exchanges of garden furniture between private and public residences have become a legitimate cause for disturbing its balance. There can be no doubt that the fanning of the flames by the media and the screaming headlines are what forced the State Attorney and the State Comptroller to dig into these affairs and others at this time. And the motive of the press is clear:When elections come, we increase the joy and the blasts of the horns. (When Adar comes...)
Let me state the following at the outset: It is clear to me that the instincts of the "nation" are so healthy that the press cannot dampen them. The nation is not stupid. Those who will vote for Likud support Netanyahu because of his stand on weighty and vital issues: The Iranian atom bomb, our country's foreign relations, the political dispute with the Palestinians, the military struggle against enemies from all sides, the murderous actions of ISIS in our back yard, making sure to maintain the growth of our economy and financial stability, problems with housing and conversion ("diyur" and "giyur"), the definition of a "Jewish state," and many other matters. One has to be foolish to think that all these issues will be pushed aside as a result of alleged unethical behavior, the character of the Prime Minister's wife, or the great importance of the rule that "the law of a Peruta is just as important as the law of hundreds of Shekels" [Sanhedrin 8a].
In this case I aim my barbs at the press and not at the competitors in the race. The candidates prefer (and rightly so) to drag the competition to side issues, to the alleyways of ethics, "equality before the law," and legal battles, where they feel that they have an advantage (at least until the press begins to uncover them in the bright sunlight...). In my opinion as an amateur political analyst, it will turn out in the end that the opposite is true: the descent into the realm "below the belt" will be beneficial for Netanyahu. In psychological terms, the masses tend to support the one who is pursued (see Kohellet 3:15) and many sane people will cry out, " Are you crazy? The country is in flames and you can find nothing more to worry about than such a paltry sum? We will respond by voting for the Likud!"
Public Bottle Behavior
So, my barbs are reserved for the press, which is losing all proportion to a greater and greater extent, with its fervor for scoops and side issues. Don't the creators of scoops know that in many public and institutional affairs it is standard for some patently unauthorized individual to collect all the bottles for his own benefit, either in secret or in the open? And it may even be worse: He may even collect the bottles and give the deposit to the workers committee, without getting permission from the management! I suggest that young investigators should be sent on a simple mission, one that will achieve instant results: Check what master sergeants in the IDF do with used bottles, and what the source is for all that petty cash available to the units in the IDF. I am sure that what will be revealed is that a soldier has been commanded to collect the deposits, to be used for the next campfire, without obtaining authorization from the head of the quartermaster division of the IDF or from the budget division of the Ministry of Defense – and not even from the battalion commander, the deputy battalion chief, or the deputy kitchen commander.
And beyond this, what is really important: I harbor a suspicion that even in the Israeli Police, which has the task of watching over the norms of abiding by the law and regular behavior, it may be possible that senior officers are aware that bottles are being collected without the deposits being sent to the major authority who should benefit from them – and that these people don't even report this to their superiors! (Note: if a reporter really is sent to investigate this matter in depth, I demand that I be given credit for the idea!)
The Torah Viewpoint
True to my title of "rabbi," my attitude towards these matters takes its cue from Jewish tradition, and I sincerely hope that the approach of Jewish halacha will someday be adopted within the Jewish state. As far as I can see, the story of the deposit bottles is pure nonsense. The custom of the land is that no "manager" expects the bottles to come back to him, they have the status of "hefker" – without any formal owner – for everybody, or at the very least for the people who participated in the affair. Such perks are well within the definition of "a general acceptance" – such as regular use of paper in an office or an occasional photocopy for private use, the use of telephones and cars, and so on. A pious approach and moderation should be practiced with all of these matters, but whoever is not strict about them will never be brought to court. Such matters, which are "general practice," lead to a general pardon for the activity.
Here is an idea that came to me by association, based on our sources. At the beginning of this article we quoted halachic rulings which give the King and the High Priest exaggerated financial perks, which go beyond logic and simple justice. (I assume that many readers were upset by the mention of these super-roles. Take it easy! I definitely agree that "statehood" is not "royalty" and that the "holy" clothing does not mean "the priesthood in the Temple.") These laws cause me to raise an eyebrow in wonder, asking "Where is justice?" The King is allowed to enrich his treasures with half of all the profits of war. Similarly, the wealth of the High Priest is enhanced at the expense of his brothers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Voting Rights are a Question of Identity

By Moshe Feiglin

Israeli students abroad are requesting the right to vote in Israel’s upcoming election. They are absolutely right. There is no reason why a US or Australian citizen can participate in elections in his/her country from any embassy in the world, while in Israel, the voter must be physically in the country.
Moreover, I believe that any Jew identified as such by the Law of Return, who ties his fate to the State of Israel and publicly acknowledges that fact, should also have the right to vote in Israeli elections – even if he has not yet made aliyah to Israel.
This has nothing to do with the demographic problem (if such a problem exists) and I have no idea if the Jews from abroad would vote left or right.
There is a much more essential issue at hand. The stipulation that Israeli citizenship and voting rights require that a person lives here – in the Homeland – stems from the desire to prove that we are an indigenous nation, as per Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “In the Land of Israel the Jewish Nation arose.”
But that is a total distortion. We were created abroad, we created most of our cultural treasures abroad and our rights to our Land are basically because of the future –  much less because of the past. But we wanted to be normal, a nation like all the other nations, and to create an indigenous, Israeli nation to replace the destiny-driven Jewish nation.
The students abroad pay the price for this. We are very strict about it: Only the ‘indigenous’ in the Land of Israel may vote.
Give the Jews abroad the right to vote? What are you talking about?
True, this is a Jewish state. But actually it is the Israeli State. A new, different nation has been born.
Many people ask: But the potential voters do not do army service. Why should they vote if they do not bear the responsibility for their choice?
And the Arabs? And the Ultra Orthodox? And all the draft evaders? Why do they get to vote?
I always call upon all the Jews to ascend to the Land of Israel under all conditions. But the question of the potential voters’ ‘contribution’ to the State is irrelevant. I know Jews abroad who contributed more to the State of Israel than many of its citizens. The real question is “Are we a Jewish State – and as that implies, a state that belongs to all the Jews?
If the answer is yes, let the students vote.

Moshe Feiglin: No Conflict Between Judaism and Democracy

(in English)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Israel’s Elections: Democracy or Dictatorship?

By Moshe Feiglin

Netanyahu is the Nation of Israel’s preferred leader. Not because they love him so much, but because they understand that the alternative is much worse and much, much more corrupt. (The Labor contender for the premiership remained silent during police questioning for crimes much more serious than what Netanyahu is being accused of. The media, of course, is silent about that.)

The sovereign is supposed to be the Nation. And the Nation repeatedly chooses Netanyahu. What is happening here right now, at this very moment, is that a small minority of non-elected officials appointed by a small, dictatorial clique is challenging the sovereignty of the People.
Is this country ours, or does it belong to the dictators? Does it belong to a tyranny that decides who to investigate and whom to protect from uncomfortable questions? About whom to publicize compromising details and about whom to cover them up? Upon whom to unleash the police and at what opportunity- and ultimately, what punishment to impose upon those who threaten the hegemony of the dictatorship?
These elections are not about parties, candidates or ideas. What is being decided in these elections is if this state belongs to the people or to the dictators. Is our democracy a mask for the ‘enlightened’ dictatorship of a small, unelected clique, or is it real?
We all understand that none of the candidates has a message or the tools to deal with the existential challenges facing Israel. But those who fall into the trap of all these investigations against Netanyahu, and all the new ‘scandals’ revealed just before the elections, and of the Chief of Police who immediately toes the line of those who may be investigating him in no time – has turned his vote into a joke. And Israel into a dictatorship.

What Happened to ‘Peace’?

By Moshe Feiglin

Everyone, including the radical leftist party Meretz, is hiding the word.
Everyone understands that the Israeli public has returned to reality and that speaking about peace will be viewed as disassociation from the facts on the ground.
For twenty years, the Right has not spoken about victory.
Now a new era, in which the Left does not speak about peace, has begun.
What remains?
Or, as per Hava Alberstein’s song, “Where will despair be more comfortable?”
What we need is to infuse our national life with meaning.
Meaning that is not dependent on the ‘other’, whether we defeated him or made peace with him.
Meaning that is built from within our independent identity.
Identity that is not in conflict between its Israeli side and its Jewish side.
Meaning that is built within Israeli-Jewish identity in harmony; identity that is not in denial of its Jewish past and Israeli destiny, but rather, joins the two.
Identity that will once again make ‘victory’ and ‘peace’ relevant concepts.
For if you do not know who you are, how can you identify your enemy? How can you possibly win? And how can peace be made with someone who has no identity?
The old division between Right and Left is no longer relevant.
Both their messages disassociated from the reality that is bereft of identity.
What Israel needs now is to stop talking about survival and to start talking about identity.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Temple’s Construction and the Redemption Process

By Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

“They shall make Me a sanctuary” (Exodus 25:8). This verse is the source of the
mitzvah of building the Temple. This mitzvah applies to the Jewish People as a community.

The greatest obligation applies to the king, his being the highest public authority. Yet we find that during the Second Temple period, the Jewish People built the Temple even without a king, but by means of the community leaders who were there at the time. This mitzvah does not apply to individuals or groups, but upon all of Israel in the aggregate. Therefore, only when the Jewish People unite in concerted longing to rebuild the Temple will it be possible to do so.

It is worthy of note that the redemption process in our generation began with
involvement in the mitzvah of rebuilding the Temple. Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kalisher, one of the first Rabbis to focus on the return to Zion, was the first to raise the idea of sacrificing the Pesach Offering in Jerusalem. He held that this was possible in both practical and halachic terms. Moreover, he held that this was a mitzvah that we are obligated to fulfill with our own hands and not to wait for it to be fulfilled miraculously. He approached his master, Rabbi Akiva Eiger and asked him if in his opinion there was any halachic obstacle to his idea. Due to his old age, Rabbi Akiva Eiger sent him to his son-in-law, the Chattam Sofer, and indeed the Chattam Sofer responded to Rabbi Kalisher (Chattam Sofer, Responsa Yoreh Deah 236) that he saw no halachic obstacle to renewing the Temple service in our day. He pointed out, however, that he viewed the idea as having no practical chance of being implemented for political reasons (the Turkish Sultan was a harsh man, and, he thought, would not agree...). The Chattam Sofer did not reject the idea out of hand, claiming that the Temple would be built by itself. He agreed to the presumption that it had to be built by man.

Rabbi Tzvi Kalisher made waves and aroused numerous reactions for and against. The focus of the question was: Will the Third Temple be built by man or by descent from Heaven? Rabbi Kalisher himself understood that the idea could not be fulfilled in the near future. Yet several important results emerged from the very raising of the idea:
1. The debate itself increased awareness of the topic and brought many closer to his great vision, whose time now seems to be coming closer and closer. Redemption is not just some abstract topic that is going to become real in the end of days. Rather, it is very near.
2. The important question of whether the future Temple will descend from Heaven or be built by men has been extended to the whole redemption process, to the ingathering of the exiles and to making the desert bloom, and it has become clear that at least in regard to those questions we must rise and act with our own hands. We must not wait for these things to fall miraculously out of Heaven. It is G-d’s will that we should settle our land.

It was from these questions that the practical process began of collecting contributions, purchasing lands, establishing an agricultural school and starting settlements in the Land. The Zionist process began from this mitzvah of “They shall make Me a sanctuary,” and it still longs for fulfillment of yet another verse: “The mountain of the L-rd’s house shall be established in the mountain-tops.... For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Gd from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

The Building of the Tabernacle

By Rabbi Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

G-d commanded, “They shall make me a sanctuary and I shall dwell amongst them” (Exodus 28:8). The building of that sanctuary represents the climax of redemption, the pinnacle of our success as individuals, as a people, and as human beings. As Moses said in Az Yashir (Exodus 15:17-18): “O bring them and plant them on the mountain You possess. The place You dwell in is Your accomplishment, O G-d. The shrine of G-d, Your hands have founded. G-d will reign forever and ever” (Exodus 15:17-18). 

G-d’s revealing to us His divine presence in the Temple, and through us, to all mankind, is the goal of mankind and of all Creation, and it will occur in the future, as Jeremiah said (3:17): “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the L-rd. All the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the L-rd, to Jerusalem.” It will occur through the establishment of the Third Temple in the State of Israel, which constitutes “G-d’s throne on earth,” as Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, zt”l said, “The State of Israel is the foundation of G-d’s throne on earth. Its entire goal is to make G-d One and His name One” (Orot 160). 

Today, how fortunate our generation is that we have merited to see the rebirth of the Jewish People in their land, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, along the way towards the rebuilding of the Third Temple – may it be soon in our day! This is all true despite the darkness of the exile and our country’s birth pains, and our nation’s tribulations of rebirth, which sometimes conceal the purpose for which we returned to our land. This is the goal that has never left the hearts and eyes of the fathers and leaders of our people down through the generations. It has never ceased to find expression on the lips of the Jewish masses who daily recite the words, “Restore the worship to Your abode… and may our eyes see Your return, in mercy, to Jerusalem. Blessed be Hashem, who restores His presence to Jerusalem.” Looking forward to complete salvation, 

The Temple, the Flavor of Life

A Torah Thought for Parashat Terumah 

By Moshe Feiglin

“The Temple somehow connects to my soul in an unbelievable way. It is something that I do not understand, but it is my Jewish essence that is connected to it. I don’t know, I don’t think about it. I simply want and anticipate and hope that I will also participate, with G-d’s help, in the building of the Temple.” (Manhigut Yehudit supporter, Emmanuel Gertel, in the film “Awakenings“. Gertel is not an “Orthodox” Jew.)
“Yes, it has to be budgeted and it must be done. What is the problem? When I go to the Kotel with my son, I explain to him that it is like being outside, in the parking lot.” (Manhigut Yehudit supporter Uri Noi, answering the question: Do you support the building of the Third Temple now? In an interview (Hebrew) on Israeli television. Noi is not an “Orthodox” Jew.)
What is the pull of the Temple? What are they connecting to? It is not only the ‘crazy’ seculars of Manhigut Yehudit who are connected to the Temple. Herzl also spoke about the Temple, as did Yair Stern, who insisted on making the building of the Temple part of his 13 principles, despite the fact that he knew that it would distance many of his fighters. Why do we need such a primitive and bizarre thing in our modern times?
For Emmanuel, the Temple Mount plucks on heartstrings so deep that he cannot even describe them. Uri the intellectual reaches the same point through the dimension of national pride; we also need a Buckingham Palace we can call our own; the Prime Minister’s residence simply does not fit the bill.
Both of them are right. But as someone who for years has been going up to the Temple Mount and trying to understand why it mesmerizes the world, I would like to add another dimension.
From the day that the Temple was destroyed, our Sages explain, the taste of life was taken from us and given to the idol worshippers. In other words, since the Temple was destroyed, we really don’t have much of a life. We are like zombies, walking shadows, not people who are really alive. We can choose between living a life of recluse, sequestering ourselves from the world and its temptations; the Christian method, or we can choose the Moslem, animal method of living a life of physical lust. But to synthesize between the physical and spiritual, between body and soul; to create a life of harmony between the two, is not possible without the Temple. The flavor of life has been lost.
How is the Temple connected to all of this?
The Temple on the Temple Mount is a physical point that can be located on a map. It is the place chosen by the Creator to manifest His Divine Presence and from which to spread it across the entire earth. In other words, the Temple is the connection point between the physical and the meta-physical. It is like the human brain that while it has grey matter, it is also the seat of thoughts and emotions. The Temple is the brain of the universe. It is the place where the physical and meta-physical meet and create life. When the Temple was destroyed, it was as if our brain was taken and replaced by a robot; not really life at all. A robot cannot enjoy life; its flavor is irrelevant to it.
Longing for the Temple is longing for life, for the renewed connection between body and soul in both the individual and universal dimensions. Humanity, in its entirety, anticipates the fountain of life that will burst forth from Jerusalem. Ultimately, it will force it upon us. In the meantime, the world is angry at us for not supplying the merchandise; and rightfully so.
Shabbat Shalom